Do You Need a School Room to Homeschool?
Are you envisioning homeschooling but can't wrap your brain around where you will put that Pinterest worthy homeschool room in your house? If you are like I was when we first started, you may not even have an extra space in your home to turn into a school room. When we started homeschooling almost 7 years ago I had the idea in my head that I had to have a "school" in my home. I came from a teaching background and I just couldn't picture doing our school day without a chalkboard, desk, and everything else I had in my classroom. Looking up homeschool rooms online didn't help because there were so many huge, well thought out rooms with chalkboard walls, desk and floor to ceiling storage. To be honest, it almost stopped me from believing I could homeschool at all (how sad would that be?).
You don't need a school in your home to homeschool!
When we started homeschooling 7 years ago I did go out and buy a school desk, a giant chalkboard, storage shelves and everything else I could think of to turn our living room into a school room. I did all this for a Kindergartener! A kindergartner that in reality had NO interest in sitting at a desk ever. We barely used any of it and ended up giving up a huge area of our family living space and quite a bit of money was wasted.
You can homeschool anywhere.
This is the beauty of homeschool! Over the years the homeschool 'areas' in our home have evolved and changed and will probably keep changing depending on my kids needs and our life points. To be honest, we often don't even homeschool in our home! We use the backyard, the car on the way to field trips, hotels on vacation and even the park. But, even if you do plan on being home for your entire school day I am here to show you that it can be done without a space for it.
Use your common spaces.
From Kindergarten to about 4th grade my kids typically follow me around the house to do their school work. I made a great Instagram Reel about this you can see here. If I do sit down to work with them, you can typically find us around the dining table. I have found this to be the easiest option for us. It makes us all so much happier than a school room. For one, I don't want to be stuck in one room in our house all day, even if it is a design-mag worthy school room, and neither do my children! Also, I have always had younger babies, toddlers or preschoolers to care for while homeschooling. It simply works best for everyone to work in a common space.
Designate a quiet working area.
I didn't actually find this necessary until my daughter was in about 4th or 5th grade and I had two younger boys in the house as well. She needed a place where she could concentrate and do some independent quiet work. We put a desk in her room, but you could have a desk anywhere in the house and rotate it out for whoever needs the space to do their independent work. We have two spaces in our house where my older kids can work. One is her bedroom desk area and the other is at a desk on the landing at the top of our stairs. This is currently where my son (7) does his independent work when he isn't following me around!
You will need storage! This is the one aspect of homeschooling I can't ignore. You will have books, pencils, computers, paper, and other items as a part of doing school at home and you will want a designated space for it. Of course, you could just leave it out in the living room and if that doesn't bother you I say go for it! But, if you want your home to still feel like home and not a classroom, then I suggest finding somewhere to hide it all away. We have tried many different options for this over the years and the best I have settled with is taking the downstairs coat closet and making it the designated homeschool area! I have three kids I homeschool and am a constant over-buyer, so we have a lot of stuff to store. In all reality you don't need much, but if you are like me and have a lot- a closet makes the perfect hideaway with plenty of space!
Some other options could be: a rolling cart, a desk, a dresser, a hutch, a kitchen cabinet, a shelf in the closet.
Go With the flow and buy items as you deem necessary.
My number one peice of advice is not to buy all your school furniture and school room equipment before you start homeschooling. Maybe invest in a desk if that is important to you or free up some shelves in a closet to store your items in. But, don't clear out an entire area of your house and build a school until you know what your homeschool style will be like! You may just love homeschooling from the park or backyard, or sitting around your dining table together. Give it a try, this freedom is the beauty of homeschooling!